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The play's the thing ...
Australia
Point Lonsdale
Victoria
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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1940 and German forces are speeding across France. The Allied armies are unprepared for the German Blitzkrieg and find themselves on the defensive everywhere. German forces were pushing deeper and deeper into French territory, and none more so than Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division nicknamed the ‘Ghost Division’ for its elusiveness. In May the allied forces would launch an attack around the city of Arras to try and cut of the German advance and link up with the French forces in the interior of the country. Rommel’s Division would bear the brunt of this attack.

Counter-Attack! Arras is an area-impulse game gives players a chance to recreate this surprise attack on the German advance. The game is designed by Michael Rinella (a man who knows a thing or two about area-impulse games), and was published in Battles magazine #2. It has a 17"x22" map and 140 glossy counters, though they are a little thin so be careful punching them out.

The game is a quite traditional area-impulse game, which makes Counter-attack Arras a good introduction to this type of gaming. One main difference is that the player with the initiative gets to activate as many areas as he likes before his opponent has their turn, instead of the more traditional turn sequence where players alternate activating one area at a time. Players finish their activations in one of three ways; by passing, having no fresh units on the map, or by performing an assault or bombardment that results in a failure.

A small spanner in the works is that the Allied player needs to keep the Overall Allied Commander , Lord Gort, happy with their progress. This involves rolling a die and adding modifiers for territory controlled and contested. If the roll fails the game ends and victory is checked. I don’t mind these types of reminders that your attack isn’t happening in a vacuum and that HQs like to see attacks progressing.

The victory conditions are quite straight forward and revolve around the Allied player capturing territory. There are rules for automatic victories for both sides, capturing certain areas for the Allies, and restricting Allied victory points for the German side.

Overall I found Counter-Attack Arras to be a fun game in a small package, quick to play but still providing a challenge it doesn’t overstay its welcome. And as I said before it makes a great introduction to area-impulse games.
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Michael Rinella
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Glad you like the game. Speaking of which I've heard there are less than 25 copies of issue #2 left. Going, going . . .

Michael Rinella
Designer, Counter-Attack! Arras
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